1. Vols will end losing streaks to Vanderbilt and South Carolina.
Nothing is more embarrassing for Tennessee football right now than being 0-7 against Will Muschamp and on a three-game losing streak to the Vanderbilt Commodores. The Vols have a three-game losing streak to both of them, actually. And, ironically, they both started in 2016, and they were the two losses that began to derail Butch Jones’s career.
If first came at the South Carolina Gamecocks. UT had started 5-0, got banged up and lost to the Texas A&M Aggies and Alabama Crimson Tide, but the East as still in play. Then, coming off a bye, they lost to S.C. It’s what started the Jones collapse, as Jalen Hurd then transferred.
Jones eventually made his Champions of Life comment, and with a New Year’s Six game in play, his team lost to Vanderbilt. Those two teams then beat him in 2017, and they got the best of Jeremy Pruitt in 2018. So can they finally exorcise those demons?
Yes, they can, and both will happen this year. Against South Carolina, the Vols will be facing a team at home that they almost beat last year. S.C. is about the same, and UT should be much better. So there’s no reason to bet on the Gamecocks.
Meanwhile, the Commodores return a ton of offensive talent. But they lose their quarterback in Kyle Shurmur, the guy who went 3-0 against the Vols, and they also lose a ton of defensive talent. Combine that with this game being in Knoxville, and Pruitt should get the win.
As a result, Tennessee football should get two more wins. Combine this with our prediction on the previous slide, and we have them at a minimum hitting seven wins, which would mean finishing the year with a winning record. That along with the awards we have them winning would give Pruitt a lot to sell to recruits entering the next decade. So this should be a fun ride for Rocky Top.